These are truly exciting findings, since use of these tests could lead to more rapid diagnosis and faster entry of patients into treatment scenarios that can save lives, said Dr. Craig S. Miller, of the Kentucky team.
The test can reveal that a patient is currently having a heart attack necessitating quick treatment. It can also tell a patient that they are at high risk of having a future heart attack.
The new diagnostic test works like this: A patient spits into a tube and the saliva is then transferred to a credit card-sized lab card that holds the nano-bio-chip. The loaded card is inserted like an ATM card into an analyzer that manipulates the sample and analyses the patients cardiac status on the spot.
Whats novel here is our ability to measure all such proteins in one setting and to use a noninvasive saliva sample, where low protein levels make such tests difficult even with large and expensive lab instruments, McDevitt says.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in developed countries, including the United States. In 2008, an estimated 770,000 Americans will have a new coronary attack, and about 430,000 will have a recurrent attack.
There is certainly a strong need for more effective early diagnosis of cardiac disease, says McDevitt.
The new technology is still in the clinical testing phase, but it is a strong candidate for further commercial development through the Austin, Texas company LabNow, Inc., a start-up venture that licensed the lab-on-a-chip technologies from The University of Texas at Austin. LabNows first lab-on-a-chip product, now in development, targets HIV immune function testing and can be used in resource poor settings like Africa.
|Contact: Dr. John McDevitt|
University of Texas at Austin